The cholera epidemic in Haiti has cast a stark light on deep development holes and disagreements about whether a short-term patch—in the form of a cholera vaccine—can help in the long-term fight for better health.
A developing nation, Haiti has long struggled to maintain modern public-health projects. Even before the January 12, 2010 earthquake the country was already falling behind. In 1990 more than a quarter of the population had access to sanitary facilities, but by 2008 only 17 percent of Haitians did. The earthquake brought further destruction to the country's limited infrastructure. Almost before the dust from the devastation settled, however, the international outpouring of support and aid seemed to signal a new opportunity to bring the most basic of health tools—clean water and decent sanitation—to Haitians.
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